Sheffield residents full of praise for city’s ‘Man With A Pram’ John Burkhill

Star readers have congratulated the city’s ‘Man With A Pram’ John Burkhill as he was given a standing ovation when councillors awarded him the Freedom of the City.

By Lee Peace
Saturday, 6th April 2019, 11:19 am
Updated Saturday, 6th April 2019, 11:24 am
John Burkhill.
John Burkhill.

John, aged 80, received the highest honour the city can bestow for his tireless work raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support. 

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Armed police deployed to Sheffield city centre
John Burkhill.

He’s one of Sheffield’s most famous sights as he walks the length of the city wearing a green curly wig, a large green foam hand and pushing collecting buckets in a pram.

The Handsworth man started fundraising after losing his daughter Karen in 1991, quickly followed by his wife June a year later, both to cancer. 

After being made a freeman of the city at a full council meeting last week, a number of Star readers took to Facebook to congratulate him. 

June Balfour said: “Congratulations, very well deserved.”

Donna Boyes added that she “met him at Owls v Blades, lovely fella.” 

Karen Evitts posted: “Met this man several times, he is absolutely brilliant.

“Well deserved.”

Joanne Lee said: “Much deserved, what a real man – devotes his life helping people and makes such a difference.”  

Dato Khan described him as a “top bloke” and added the honour is “well deserved.” 

John said: “It’s absolutely unbelievable. 

“Sheffield is the only city in England to have a mad man with a pram and I’m proud to be that man.”

John has taken part in more than 1000 organised races. 

He joins only a handful of people to have earned the honour of Freedom of the City, which includes Olympic gold medalist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. Although the title of ‘freeman’ confers no special privileges, it will allow John the freedom to parade through the city and is a very public recognition of his years of charity fundraising